Parenting is challenging, that can’t be denied. But for all the downs, there are endless positive moments that make it all worth it.
For parents with a child with cerebral palsy, however, things can be even more difficult. The child is often different from other children their age and may require support services throughout their development.
Thankfully, there are many supportive organisations and communities that you can join online to help those suffering from the responsibility of parenting.
And, in this post, we’re going to highlight some ways to make the quality of life for a child with this condition better and brighter.
Cerebral palsy can occur due to an unexpected gene mutation, and the neurological disorder can impact several critical areas of your child’s development. If you think the condition may have been caused by a brain injury at birth, you might be able to speak to a legal team to see what options you have available.
Having your child evaluated as early on as possible is key to being prepared. Then, your doctor will be able to provide techniques, steps, and treatments that could improve your child’s quality of life significantly.
Having tests done could highlight whether medication could ease your child’s day-to-day experiences, while other children may benefit from surgery to help them move more freely.
As the condition can affect muscle tone and motor skills, your child may find walking and other physical tasks quite difficult. Therefore, where possible, it’s essential to make sure your child is doing regular exercises and can move comfortably and freely.
Assistive equipment like a walker or wheelchair will give your child the support and security they need. Having these options available to them means that they can rest or be supported as and when required. In addition, it will likely give them the confidence to try to move around more independently while making everyday tasks a little easier.
Assistive equipment can also include tablets and communication boards to help your child express how they feel or what they would like to say.
Start early with speech therapy.
Some children with cerebral palsy may struggle with speech, while others will only ever be able to communicate non-verbally. Finding a way to understand your child’s needs or what they are saying will take time and patience, but it can be done.
To help with the frustration, specialist speech therapy can help both parents and children see eye to eye. Starting this treatment early gives your child the best chance of developing coherent speech.
As the condition affects the motor skills needed to feed themselves, you might need to help your child eat at every mealtime. But even with this added responsibility, you should still encourage the family to eat together. Everyone can benefit from a nutritious and healthy diet, and feeding everyone the same food will help your child feel included.
Although extra steps and more patience are required when parenting a child with cerebral palsy, there are still plenty of ways to make their – and your – quality of life happy and comfortable.